-Says group against ‘harmful’ traditional practices
The National Working Group against Female Genital Mutilation (NAWOGAFGM), says now is the time for state actors to take positive steps at eliminating the practices of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) or female circumcision.
The Group said one of the many steps that stakeholders must take is to carefully monitor and persecute violators as one of the means to increase the fight against the practice.
“While embarking on the launch of a massive campaign to work with traditional leaders, midwives and zoes in FGM practice-prone communities to foster change in behaviors, it is imperative that national government goes beyond by condemning the act.” NAWOGAFGM said in a recent statement.
The Group’s statement, read by the executive officer of Women Solidarity Incorporated, Marian Deah, called on the government to pass the exclusive FGM Bill that is soon to be brought before the legislature.
Madam Deah said that is one of the many steps not to only prevent the practice, but that will be used as legal instruments in helping victims gain access to justice when their rights are violated.
She also narrated that the government committed itself to the protection and promotion of the human rights of all citizens and people, including the fight against all harmful traditional and cultural practices, at the 123rd Session of the Human Rights Commission in Geneva, Switzerland.
Madam Deah continued, “This is an affirmation to President George Weah’s State of the Nation Address on January 29, 2018, where he assured Liberians that his government will protect all its citizens in adherence to the Constitution, Regional and International instruments that promote and protect women, girls and all human rights in general.”
The Head of Women Solidarity, Inc., said Liberia is one of the four countries in Africa that is yet to have a legislation against the practice of FGM.
Madam Deah said the Group applauds the Liberian government for the passage of Executive Order Number 92, which prohibits the practice from being performed on minors below the age of consent.
As part of the Group’s statement, she said there was a need for the government to develop national policies and action plans that will not only prohibit but monitor and evaluate adherence at national and local levels, inculcated FGM into mainstream health and education programs, and build partnership with stakeholders by committing to all regional and international protocols.
The National Working Group Against Female Genital Mutilation comprises of 17 organizations.